These lies were
challenge by the angry survivors who saw for themselves how ruthless
the NPA terrorists were. According to them, despite of their beggings,
the rebels kept on firing on them. One survivor even dramatized how
he and his companions waved their arms widely open while shouting,
“Tama na! Tama na! Mga sibilyan kami!” (Enough! Enough! We are
civilians!). He was already slightly wounded that moment when he was
shouting for mercy at the rebels. The father of the murdered minor,
the operator of motorized banca said that he saw his son banished
under the river’s current after falling over board when his boat was
indiscriminately fired upon by the terrorists.
The victims are crying
for justice. Justice from the inhuman and dastardly acts of the NPA
who profess to be the protector of the masses. But the truth is
crystal clear. They (NPA) are the tormentor and oppressor of the
people. Salas, is truly a master of black propaganda and deception
aimed at misleading the masses of the real truth.
"Salas should thank
the AFP's serious protection and preservation of the people’s rights
so he can enjoy freedom of expression. Sad thing is, Salas uses this
right to steal the truth from the people and has been committing grave
offense to the people by suppressing their rights to know the truth."
Salas is also being
hooked up his tongue when he claimed that the troops forcibly boarded
the motorized banca owned by Julito Casio. Salas obviously didn’t
know what is happening in the ground. Casio, in behalf of the
residents of Brgy. Poponton, was the one who sought assistance from
the troops for the conduct of Barangay Peace and Order Council (BPOC)
meeting in reaction to the threat posed by the NPA after they
mercilessly murdered a local resident Torib Diaz, and dumped his dead
body in Hinaga river in Poponton.
When the communist
terrorists open fired at the approaching banca, Casio was one among
the passengers who was hit by the first burst of fire and died
instantaneously. One soldier was killed and two others were wounded
because the terrorist kept on firing them even though they have
already jumped into the river which is a total violation of
Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International
Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) signed between the government and
communist rebels particularly the provision in Part IV, Article 4,
Section 2 which states that, “the wounded and the sick shall be
collected and cared for by the party to the armed conflict which has
them in its custody or responsibility”. Moreover, Article 3, Section
4 which states that, “desecration of the remains of those who have
died in the course of armed conflict or while under detention, and
breach of duty to tender immediately such remains to their families or
to give them decent burial,” was also violated when the ten soldiers
killed in a landmine ambush in adjacent of Brgy. Perez, Las Navas,
were looted and left behind like slaughtered animals by the rebels.
With these inhuman
acts, Salas as well as his brutal cohorts is guilty of violating the
The people are no
longer passive component in an insurgency problem. They are
intelligent enough to see what is the real face of the CPP-NPA NDF.
Especially now that the people of
cries for justice for the countless violation of human rights
perpetrated by the terrorist NPA. Noteworthy to mention are the
policemen who were busted by landmines in Imelda, Catarman while
responding to a security problem in the barangay, the killing of
unarmed soldiers bathing in the water fall in Las Navas by NPA
snipers, the river-line ambush of unarmed soldiers and civilians in
Brgy. Taylor also in Las Navas, and the treacherous landmine ambush of
ten soldiers whose only intention is to secure the people in the
far-away barrio against the oppression of the rebels.
Monitoring Committee (JMC) of the CARHRIHL should investigate the
increasing human rights violations of the terrorist CPP-NPA-NDF in
Northern Samar. May justice be the crowning glory of these people and
soldiers who were victims of the massive anti-human rights campaign of
Military, police and
media collaborate for transparency and harmony
By GINA DEAN-RAGUDO,
CALBAYOG CITY, Samar
– A call for collaboration between the military, police and the
media came when Northern Samar is at the peak of insurgency due to
successive agitation brought about by the New People Army’s impulsive
In a fellowship
conducted recently at the 803rd Brigade, Camp Juan Ponce Sumuroy in
Catarman, Northern Samar, Colonel Oscar Lopez and Northern Samar
Provincial Director Brigido Unay convened the media not only to
celebrate Christmas but to form a partnership.
Lopez said that each one should be reminded of its responsibility not
only for him/herself but for the people and be accountable for any
He acknowledged the
role of media in upholding their advocacy programs.
Unay on the other hand said that media efforts should be in harmony
with the PNP’s thrusts in order to achieve its purpose – be of service
to the community and the province as a whole. It needs to establish a
solid media group to improve the relationship, he said.
In behalf of the
media, Tito Tepace and Rachel Arnaiz of DYSM Catarman affirmed that
the presence of journalists in every military/police related activity
had been felt ever since though there were instances that
“transparency” became an issue.
publisher and columnist Eladio Perfecto, one of the prime movers of
said fellowship had been very grateful for the realization of said
endeavor. Amidst the shaky peace and order situation in the province
due to successive ambush incidents causing fatalities to members of
the local police and military, these occurrences did not affect the
pursuance of achieving partnership between the three indispensable
The fellowship was
attended both by members of the 803rd brigade and provincial police as
well as broadcast and print media of Northern Samar. There was even a
plan to converge regularly in order to strengthen the group.
AFP troops killing,
torturing and using civilians as human shields
By NDF-Eastern Visayas
December 20, 2010
Democratic Front-Eastern Visayas said today that the Armed Forces of
the Philippines was killing, torturing and using civilians as human
shields in military operations in Las Navas, Northern Samar from
November-December. "The human rights violations of the AFP's 8th
Infantry Division are being suppressed while malicious accusations are
levied against the New People's Army for black propaganda," said Fr.
Santiago Salas, NDF-EV spokesperson. "The AFP's human rights
violations were committed in the course of widespread military
operations beginning in the first week of December. These combat
operations are continuing even after the start of the AFP's ceasefire
declaration on Dec. 16."
Fr. Salas said that
8th ID troops used civilians as human shields, which led to the death
of two civilians in the NPA riverside ambush on Dec. 8 between Brgy.
Taylor and Brgy. Impon. "According to a report from the NPA's Rogelio
Bantilo Command, four civilians were about to leave Las Navas town
proper for Brgy. Poponton on a "dalamas" (motorized banca), when six
soldiers from the 83rd Civil Military Operations Unit suddenly
boarded. Julito Casio, the owner of the boat and incumbent barangay
captain of Brgy. Poponton, protested the presence of armed men,
fearing ambush by the NPA. But the soldiers, who were out of uniform,
ignored Casio's protests and demanded passage. Red fighters from the
RBC spotted the boat and the armed men on their way and opened fire,
because the NPA was aware for several months of continuous military
operations and knew that the soldiers involved were disguised as
civilians. Four soldiers were killed or wounded, but two others
immediately leaped free from the boat upon the burst of gunfire.
"The Red fighters
approached the boat and discovered that there were civilian casualties
– all of whom were still alive. But when the Red fighters were about
to rescue the wounded civilians, the two soldiers who had earlier
escaped suddenly began strafing. The soldiers' shooting killed one Red
fighter and wounded another, while Brgy. Capt. Casio was also hit in
the head and died instantly. The NPA was forced to withdraw and was no
longer able to rescue the civilian casualties, one of whom,
15-year-old Edwin Gudgad, also died later."
Fr. Salas noted the
AFP troops violated international humanitarian law, by using the
civilians as human shields, and by indiscriminately firing when they
had saved themselves and knew that there still civilians left behind
who were bound to be hit. "The NPA regrets and apologizes for the
incident and will strive to indemnify the civilian victims. Meanwhile,
the AFP should also acknowledge its accountability and indemnify the
victims they had put in danger in the first place, and whom it denies
shooting because it is claimed the AFP troops never opened fire."
In relation to this,
the NDF-EV spokesperson also said that Brgy. Capt. Casio had gone to
Las Navas town proper to report to the police and municipal
authorities about the killing by soldiers in his village of a
civilian. "Before the ambush, Brgy. Capt. Casio had complained to
government authorities that soldiers from the Bravo Company of the
87th IB had killed Torib de la Cruz on the night of Dec. 4 in Brgy.
Poponton. De la Cruz, who was mentally handicapped, had gone drinking
with the soldiers, who were also with private armed group members "Aresgado"
and "Cabatoan". The villagers discovered his bruised and bloodied body
floating in the river the next day; he had been stabbed thrice in the
chest and also suffered a gunshot wound. The details of this incident
was suppressed by the military, who instead focused on maligning the
NPA for the Dec. 8 ambush."
Fr. Salas cited other
human rights violations by the military in Las Navas:
1. An MG-520 attack
helicopter strafed the farmlands between Brgy. Cuenco and Brgy.
Capotoan on Nov. 28.
2. Up to 164 AFP
troops began basing in Brgy. Poponton starting on the first week of
December, mingling with civilians in their houses.
3. An 18-year-old
peasant youth, Aido Yanay, was shot at by soldiers while working in
his farm but fortunately escaped unharmed on Dec. 8 in Brgy. Paco. The
troops were identified as from the Bravo Company of the 87th IB, who
chased Yanay while shouting that he must be an NPA member. The
soldiers also burned Yanay's 40-kilo abaca produce worth about P1,600,
as well as other personal belongings.
4. A certain "Inggo",
who is from Brgy. Osmena and mentally handicapped, was arrested and
tortured by soldiers in their camp.
spokesperson also dismissed allegations the NPA violates international
humanitarian law as old hat. "Regarding the Dec. 14 ambush, the NPA
has long clarified that it uses command-detonated land mines, which
are allowed by international humanitarian law, while contact-detonated
land mines are not. As for the regrettable civilian casualty, the NPA
is investigating the matter and is willing to indemnify the family of
"The NDF-EV calls
on the Aquino government and the 8th ID to respect international
humanitarian law, not to make a mockery out of it in desperate
attempts at black propaganda against the NPA. Because it serves the
people, the NPA is willing to accept responsibility where it is at
fault. But the people on the other hand have to struggle for their
rights to straighten out the contortions of the AFP on respecting the
rights of civilians."
Secretary Gazmin and other GRP’s top official bids honor to the fallen
soldiers in Northern Samar
By CMO Battalion, 8ID PA
Catbalogan, Samar – The Secretary to the Defense Department and
four (4) other government’s top officials landed Friday in Catarman,
Northern Samar to visit the wake of the ten (10) soldiers who were
treacherously waylaid by the terrorist New People’s Army (NPA) in the
outskirts of Brgy Perez, Las Navas town last 14 December two days
before the government’s declaration for cease fire.
Gazmin of the Defense Department is being accompanied by Secretary
Teresita Quintos Deles of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on
Peace Process (OPAPP); Atty. Alexander Padilla, the Chief Negotiator of
the GRP Peace Panel; AFP Chief General Ricardo David; Army Chief
Lieutenant General Arturo Ortiz to personally condole the bereaved
families of victims of the most recent atrocity perpetrated by the
terrorist NPA in Eastern Visayas.
government officials were welcomed at the
Airport by Governor Paul Daza of Northern Samar and Major General
Mario Chan and Colonel Oscar Lopez, the commander of the 8th Infantry
Division and 803rd Infantry Brigade, respectively.
It can be recalled
that troops were marching off “back to barracks” to observe the
government’s declaration of suspension of military operations (SOMO)
for the Yuletide season when the terrorist NPA ambushed them using
destructive improvised mines. As a result, two (2) soldiers were
seriously wounded and ten (10) others were brutally killed. One
innocent minor Joven Cabe was also murdered who was just swimming in
the river banks after hitting shrapnel from the exploded mine.
Gazmin and other top
officials paid their last honor to the fallen comrades who rendered
the supreme sacrifice of offering their lives for the sake of peace,
freedom and democracy. They also gave due recognition to the wounded
troops confined at
Samar Provincial Hospital who miraculously survived in the brutal
massacre perpetrated by the terrorist NPA.
human rights advocates have already started condemning the CPP-NPA-NDF
with their consistent violation of the terrorist human rights and
international humanitarian law.
Some groups who are
greatly dismayed with how the terrorist advances their so called
revolutionary struggles are now calling out for mobilization to stand
firm against these terrorist in support to the lamentation of the
bereaved families of the fallen soldiers.
The remains of the ten
(10) gallant men of the Army’s 63rd Infantry Battalion lie in state at
St Francis Chapel, Camp Sumoroy, Brgy Dalakit, Catarman, Northern
“These soldiers died a
glorious death for God, country and people. They fought it out to the
last and they have won over evil. They have won in protecting you…
For you to continue enjoying the fruit of democracy and freedom,” says
Major General Chan.
He further call upon
the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) that monitors the implementation
of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and
International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) to look after the incident
and let the culprits be charged with the full force of the law as
deemed necessary to include all other CARHRIHL violations of the
The human rights
groups in Northern Samar also call to translate our silence to a loud
voice of support to the heroism of these soldiers and of all of the
victims of the NPA’s human rights violation. They are also calling to
denounce and condemn the CPP-NPA-NDF and to make a firm stand for the
sake of our children and our children’s children.
for line rehab granted
By GINA DEAN-RAGUDO,
CALBAYOG CITY, Samar
– Northern Samar Electric Cooperative (NORSAMELCO) General Manager
Salvador Hernandez is hopeful that its electric cooperative can
deliver better services to its member-consumers in the days ahead.
Despite the frequent
power outages experienced by the province comprising 24 towns of
Northern Samar with more or less 54,000 member-consumers, its
performance continue to build up trust among people.
In the 22nd Annual
General Membership Assembly held on December 12, 2010 at Catarman
Chinese Chamber, Hernandez said that the National Transmission
Corporation (TRANSCO) now National Grid Corporation of the Philippines
(NGCP) had been directed by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to
facilitate the immediate rehabilitation of Northern Samar’s
reclassified sub-transmission line assets to address the reliability
of the transmission system in the entire Province of Northern Samar.
Its petition is for
the approval of the reclassification of the TRANSCO’s sub-transmission
lines to transmission lines serving Northern Samar via Paranas,
Western Samar, or in the alternative, to transfer the 69 KV line
serving NORSAMELCO to the 138 KV transmission lines near Calbayog
In 12-page decision of
ERC, it granted NORSAMELCO’s argument that the considerable length of
their sub-transmission lines and the deteriorated condition of the
69KV structures and the uncontrolled or unmaintained vegetation along
the route of these lines are the major causes of voltage drop at the
delivery points and frequently tripping/power outages within the
franchise area of said electric cooperative.
NORSAMELCO added that
the 59 kilometers Catarman-Palanas Cara 69KV lines traverse through
very rugged and mountainous terrains which hamper the necessary
repairs and maintenance of the lines.
Be it noted that
Northern Samar particularly the Catarman-Palans Cara section, has been
operating for 20 years and due for rehabilitation because of the
deteriorated condition of its structures.
cooperative admitted that it is not financially capable of acquiring
the 164 kilometers sub-transmission lines with a selling price of
about P217 Million. The cost of rehabilitating these transmission
assets is approximately P197 Million.
With these, ERC
believed that the construction of a new 69KV lines is more feasible to
address the technical abnormalities rather than the acquisition of
dilapidated sub-transmission assets amounting to P328 Million.
No treachery, truce
violation in NPA ambush of operating Philippine Army troops in Samar –
The Communist Party of
the Philippines (CPP) today declared that "there was neither treachery
nor a violation of the 19-day ceasefire declared by the CPP and the
National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP)," when the New
People's Army (NPA) successfully carried out on December 14 an ambush
against the operating troops of the Philippine Army's 803rd Brigade in
Las Navas, Northern Samar. According to initial reports, the Red
fighters were able to seize at least 10 high-powered firearms from the
defeated Philippine Army unit.
"The CPP, NPA, NDFP
and all revolutionary forces fully support the peace negotiations and
faithfully abide by their declarations and commitments, including
their December 16 to January 3 ceasefire declaration, simultaneous
with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) ceasefire."
As far as the CPP, NPA,
NDFP and revolutionary forces are concerned, the Samar ambush last
Tuesday should not in any way affect the progress of the peace
negotiations. It was a legitimate act of war, carried-out in
self-defense in response to an active enemy offensive operation," the
"On the other hand,
the AFP spokesman, Brig. Gen. Mabanta's claim of NPA treachery is
hypocritical and turns on its head. In fact, it was the AFP forces
that had treacherous intent in carrying out offensive operations
against the NPA and the revolutionary mass base in the area just two
days before the start of the simultaneous ceasefire."
"They dispatched their
troops to scour the area and conduct offensive military operations
based on a report they received about the presence of an NPA unit in
the area, knowing full well that the area is an NPA operational base,"
the CPP pointed out.
The CPP said further
that "The 803rd Brigade deployed troops in the area precisely to give
battle to the NPA. But the people's army was monitoring the movements
of the offensive enemy forces and engage them in gunbattle. With the
support of the people, mastery of the terrain and superior knowledge
of guerrilla tactics, the NPA unit was easily able to subdue the
operating enemy troops."
"The NPA ambush was
carried out according to international rules of war," added the CPP.
"The NPA unit legitimately and responsibly employed command-detonated
explosives, as opposed to pressure-triggered land mines, to subjugate
the AFP unit, in consonance with the Ottawa Treaty and other
international treaties concerning the conduct of war."
Bureau, Communist Party of the Philippines